This is the first counselor in the mission presidency, Russell Hakes. As we met and visited we discovered we were distantly related. As I mentioned in last week's post, we figured out the relationship: 3rd cousins once removed. We both descend through David Evans. So today we took a photo together.
Left to right, Sisters Jensen, Bradshaw and Earl. All really, really good missionaries. Sister Bradshaw served in our ward and we got to know her well. They all have such bright futures ahead of them.
This is Elder Jenkins who served for 8 months as an AP working in the mission office. We became very close to this young man and love him very much. He is THE best. I would proudly call him my son. He is so diligent, pleasant, cheerful, helpful, etc. Oh, how we will miss him. But he lives in Las Vegas and promises to come and see us when we return home.
Saturday is our p-day and we were just relaxing when Elder Ellsworth (on the left) called and asked us to take him to Reading, PA for the baptism of Talea and Cezar. Elder Ellsworth is from Washington Fields in St. George and just dared to call us. He had been transferred on Tuesday into downtown Philadelphia Spanish speaking and has no car--they use the public transportation system. So he had no way to get to this baptism, which is about 90 minutes away. We were privileged to take him there and witness this mother and son be baptized. Elder Park (on the right) and Elder Ellsworth both taught the lessons to Talea and Cezar and Talea wanted Elder Ellsworth to baptize her. Talea's father is an inactive member the local Catholic church and donates highly to it. He would be very displeased with Talea if he knew that she joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She had to sneak the missionaries into her home to teach her, but she knew right away that it was true. She works for her dad and hopes that he will come to accept her decision to join this church.
The two missionaries on the left are the ones we took to Reading. Elder Johnson and Elder Ellsworth. Elder Johnson is from the Bay area in California and has Cystic Fibrosis. He really does not talk about his health much, but he runs daily to help his lung function and wears a special vest morning and night to loosen mucous. He told us that he is very grateful for modern medicine which has allowed him to serve a mission. He has been on his mission only about 4 months. After the baptism we drove them back to downtown Philly and in the process we missed a turn and ended up seeing parts of Philly we had never seen before. We just love to be around these fine missionaries and to feel of their spirit. We are so glad to be serving with them!